I must be one of the last foodies to try Polpo. Talk about being late to the party. I’ve walked past Polpo’s original Soho restaurant so many times, meaning to pop in, but just never got round to doing so.

Now, in a way, I’m glad I waited because it feels like the biggest and best Polpo has arrived in Chelsea. There is still the cosy intimate feeling that is familiar with the Polpo brand, with Chelsea’s inside space. But what differentiates this restaurant from the others is the wide outdoor terrace.

I absolutely love the al fresco vibe on Duke of York Square. It’s wonderfully buzzy in the evenings and during the day you feel like hours could drift by and it wouldn’t matter. So it’s great to see the restaurant scene here being expanded. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

As for the menu, Polpo serves up Venetian small plates which are very satisfying indeed. Polpo means  bàcaro, which is a Venetian word used “to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines”. And for simple food in a humble environment, lunch was more than pretty good.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

The OH and I shared the octopus & fennel carpaccio … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Salt cod crocchette … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Fritto misto … (which was easily the best I’ve ever had in London). Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

I had a sneaky lunchtime bellini which I enjoyed whilst thinking I really need to come back for a sundowner. Their cocktail list looks very good. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

We also enjoyed the lamb & new season wild garlic meatballs … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… with some griddled herbed polenta. Recently I’ve started warming to the idea of polenta and I think this dish has won me over as a pasta/rice/potato substitute. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

For dessert, OH had the Nutella pizzetta … (yum, yum)Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… and I had the flourless lemon & almond cake, which was very good but I felt I should have ordered a coffee with it.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road ChelseaAll in all, Polpo is a winner. And I can imagine on a balmy summer’s day, sitting outside on the terrace, it could almost feel like being back in Italy. Perhaps all you’ll need is the sound of church bells to give you that added al fresco piazza feel.

Chelsea Girl

Recently I’ve been thinking about which direction I wanted to take my blog in. I have learned so much over the years and I wanted my blog to continue exploring what I love the most, be it food, cocktails and all the wonderful culture London has to offer.

But there was something missing and especially given the name of my blog, I’ve realised that I needed to inject some street life into my posts. After all, it makes sense especially if you know me. I love people, I love London and I love photography.

So a few weeks ago, I headed over to Brick Lane – the London capital of street art and street photography to hone my skills.

And here are some of the snapshots I captured. This is just the beginning … 
Brick Lane

Brick Lane


Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Spotted: the fabulous Fins & Trotters duo whose award-winning fish and chips can be found every Saturday at Duke of York Square’s Fine Food Market

Brick Lane

Spotted: The Rib Man

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane
Chelsea Girl

 

There’s something about a bank holiday weekend only feeling complete when I stop by Sophie’s Steakhouse for a cocktail.

In this case and perhaps in the light of a wonderfully intense week of Chelsea in Bloom I decided to have the Orange Blossom special, which includes Cognac, Grand Marnier, orange mist and rosemary syrup.

I do love the odd drop of Cognac and I’ve never considered myself a Grand Marnier fan. But this cocktail really nailed it for me. Full of depth and flavour, I really enjoyed it.Sophie's Steakhouse cocktail

Chelsea Girl

There has been a wonderful buzz this week around the top of King’s Road and along Sloane Street. From Duke of York Square to Pavilion Road and beyond, Chelsea has been in bloom. And what a spectacle it is.

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

This year’s Chelsea in Bloom theme is Fairy Tales …

… and with this year also being Alice in Wonderland’s 150th anniversary, the stores and businesses taking part have truly given us a range of wonder, beauty and brilliant craft.

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Brunello Cucinelli on Sloane Street

There are 40 displays to see, which makes Chelsea in Bloom the most beautiful time of the year to walk around. Saying that, there are also free rickshaw tours on offer (if you can snag yourself a booking at the information point on Sloane Square.)  I had a ride and absolutely loved it. It’s a great way to whizz around and take everything in.

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

As well as the floral displays, there is a bar on Sloane Square from The Botanist and Sipsmith … Chelsea in Bloom 2015… and Pimm’s bar on Duke of York Square. I’m going to be very sorry to see The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party end on Saturday.  Yes, that’s right – tomorrow (or today, if you’re reading this tomorrow). So, hurry! 😉

Chelsea in Bloom 2015This year’s Chelsea in Bloom is absolutely gorgeous and if you get a chance to have a look around before it ends, you’ll see how easy it is to snap away at everything.

Here are just a few of my favourite displays …

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Mary Quant on Duke of York Square

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Brora on Symons Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Kate Spade on Symons Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Browns on Sloane Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Brunello Cucinelli on Sloane Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Browns on Sloane Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Lulu Guinness on Ellis Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Elliot Rhodes on Duke of York Square

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

L.K. Bennett on King’s Road/Duke of York Square

Beautiful, aren’t they?

Chelsea Girl

 

Last week I was invited on a tour along Sloane Street as part of London Craft Week.  Alongside the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition What is Luxury? – which I sadly missed,  this #LCW15 tour sought to seek out the meaning of luxury by giving us a personal experience with brands renowned for their luxurious status.

Our first stop was Louis Vuitton where we were guided through the history of the brand, from the founder’s humble beginnings to the current designs that still reflect LV’s core values and designs.

Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

We learned how travel was at the heart of Louis Vuitton’s brand and that if something could not be transported, LV could not make it.

Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

We discussed the intricacies of Louis Vuitton’s current designs that have been borne from the original details which the brand is renowned for.

From this diamond crosshatch design which originally derived from the interior of Louis Vuitton’s first travel case … Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

… to the floral emblem that is recognised when you look closely at LV’s signature design, the concept of luxury was explored in the light of details, the quality of materials and a personalised service which LV excels at.

A walk along Sloane Street and our next stop was Fendi …
Sloane Street Tour - Fendi

… where we discussed fur coats, which Fendi is renowned for.Sloane Street Tour - Fendi

This bag also caught my eye at Fendi. Isn’t it fabulous?

Sloane Street - Fendi

Our next stop along Sloane Street was Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel where we stopped for a cocktail at The Rib Room’s bar.
london-jumeirah-carlton-tower

I enjoyed a Sloane Street Vespa as we listened to Penelope from Fox & Squirrel enlighten us about the history of Chelsea, which I found fascinating. I’ve lived in Chelsea all my life and there is always something new to learn about this area. The latest nugget that impressed me was that Andy Warhol used to stay at the Carlton Tower and drink his cocktails in the bar. I hadn’t realised this hotel had such a history.london-jumeirah-carlton-tower

Our final stop on the tour was Smythson and being a true stationery geek, I absolutely revelled in being here and learning about the history of this place. So far, we had discussed leather, fur, local history and now it was time to talk paper.

Sloane Street Tour - Smythson

Here, we learned about Smythson’s Panama Diary innovation. Based on the idea of the flexible nature of the Panama Hat, this notepad was revolutionary. The thin paper allowed the writer to use a fountain pen on both sides of each sheet whilst men could now carry their notepad in their breast pocket or back trouser pocket; something we take for granted, but revolutionary nonetheless.

Sloane Street Tour - Smythson

Luxury exists at Smythson again in terms of quality and like Louis Vuitton and Fendi, also with true personal service. Embossing leather cases as well as personalised stationery which Smythson offers did excite me because given I have more digital gadgets I actually know what to do with, I still revel in the quality of good paper, a beautiful notepad and something I can write in and treasure.Sloane Street Tour - SmythsonAs the tour ended and Angie and I set on our way to grab a drink nearby, I looked back at the afternoon and appreciated the chance I had to listen to the personal stories of these luxury brands.

Chelsea Girl

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